Relatively Large Numbers of Single British Women and Men Don’t Want to Get Married

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a survey of British singles by Mintel found that 56 percent of single women and 46 percent of single men describe themselves as “very happy.” Meanwhile, 19 percent of men and 28 percent of women said they had no interest in marriage or living with someone else.

The survey polled 1,039 singles ages 25-70. Overwhelmingly, both men and women said the biggest advantage of being single was economic and personal freedom in not having to share decision making with a partner. Seventy-one percent of men and 69 percent of women ranked “making own decisions about how to spend money” as the best thing about being single and 66 percent of men and 65 percent of women ranked “Freedom to come and go as I please” as the second most important thing about being single.

Men and women differed, however, on the disadvantages with 27 percent of men citing “not enough sex” as the biggest drawback of being single, while 36 percent of men cited “people assuming I want a partner” as the biggest drawback.


British women are ‘happy singles’. The BBC, February 14, 2005.

Marketing to Singles – Charts. Press Release, Mintel, February 2005.

Indiana Court Rules Lesbian Partner Must Pay Child Support

In February, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a lesbian woman must pay child support for a child conceived by her partner before the two separated.

In 1997, the woman adopted her partner’s in 1997 when the two were involved in a relationship. After the relationship dissolved, the biological mother of the children sought and received a child support order while the non-biological mother sought to dissolve the adoption.

Lower courts had overturned the support order, but the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the order. Judge John G. Baker wrote in a 22-page ruling that,

Whether a person is a man or a woman, homosexual or heterosexual, or adoptive or biological, in assuming that role, a person also assumes certain responsibilities, obligations, and duties. That person may not simply choose to shed the parental mantle because it becomes inconvenient, seems ill-advised in retrospect, or becomes burdensome because of a deterioration in the relationship with the children’s other parent.

Baker’s ruling followed a November 2004 case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that same sex partners could adopt the children of their partners and still retain parental rights


State Appeals Court Extends Parental Rights to Gay Woman. Associated Press, November 29, 2004.

Lesbian Ordered to Pay Child Support. Associated Press, February 18, 2005.

Lesbian Partner Ordered to Pay Child Support. Axcess News, February 19, 2005.

Affairs Major Reason for Divorce in UK, Where Women Initiate Almost all Divorces

In January, the BBC reported on a UK survey of divorce lawyers that asked the lawyers to provide statistics on the causes of the divorces they handled.

According to the survey, adultery was the number one cause of divorce in Great Britain, with 27 percent of divorces being initiated because one of the partners had an affair. In 75 percent of those cases, the adulterous spouse was the husband.

After adultery, 11 percent of marriages ended due to family-related strains, and 17 percent from emotional or physical abuse.

The study also reported that women were overwhelmingly the initiators of divorces, petitioning for divorce in 93 percent of the cases handled by the lawyers in the survey.


Affairs ‘main reason for divorce’ The BBC, January 23, 2005.

Wage Gap Decreases as Men’s Wages Fall or Hold Steady

The recession that started in 2001 has had one interesting effect on wages — it has resulted in a further closing of the wage gap between men and women as men’s wages held steady or declined over the past few years while women’s continued to rise.

According to the New York Times, a Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that women now earn 80 percent of what men do, compared to just 62 percent 25 years ago. But, according to The Times,

It turns out that almost half of that gap closed during two comparatively short periods of relatively hard times, totaling about six years. Those periods correspond with the recessions and cutbacks in the work force that marked the opening years of the last decade and the current one.

But while the changes came about as a result of recessions, they persisted even after those recessions were over. The Times surveys various experts who offer different explanations for this, from the fact that men tend to be over-represented in industries that were hit by both recessions such as manufacturing, to companies replacing high-paid men with slightly lower-paid women for administrative and professional jobs, to the increasing educational attainment and tendency for women to work full time.

The Times notes that Bureau of Labor statistics show a big increase in women’s employment in “executive, administrative and managerial occupations”. Women today hold 46 percent of those jobs, compared to just 32 percent in 1983. Similar gains occurred in professional jobs as well.

Given that women now constitute the majority of college graduates, those trends are likely to continue and the wage gap is likely to decline even further as more women work full time and marry later, focusing on their careers in their 20s and 30s. (In 2000, for example, the average age at first marriage was 25 for all women, and even older for college-educated women).


Women are gaining ground on the wage front. Louis Uchitelle, The New York Times, December 31, 2004.

Russian E-Mail Order Bride Wins $400,000 Judgement

Earlier this year, I noted ongoing controversy over mail order brides from Eastern Europe, and whether they are victims of domestic violence at higher rates than normal (and, if so, what should be done to minimize the problem).

This month, a Ukranian woman won a $434,000 jury award against an online agency that matched up women from the former Soviet Union with American men.

Nataliya Fox sued Encounters International claiming that the agency was fraudulent and negligent when it paired her up with American businessman James Fox in 1998.

The two were married about three months after meeting, but Nataliya claimed her husband was abusive throughout their marriage.

Nataliya testified that when she told Encounters International owner Natasha Spivack about the abuse, that Spivack told her she would be deported if she left her American husband. Spivack testified that Nataliya concocted the story in order to remain in the United States.

Similarly, Nataliya testified that when she asked Spivack why another Russian woman had left James Fox only two weeks after being set up with him by Encounters International, Spivack told her that the woman had been “foolish.”

James Fox testified at the trial that he never abused his wife.

Encounters International plans to appeal the verdict.


Online dating bride wins damages. The BBC, November 19, 2004.

Mail-order bride wins damage award. Stephanie Hanes, Baltimore Sun, November 19, 2004.

Jury awards $434,000 to woman who met husband online. Associated Press, November 19, 2004.

British Study: Men Who Never Marry Happiest

In December the University of London released a study of 4,000 Britons that found women who married the first man they had a relationship with were the most emotionally healthy women, while men who had multiple cohabitating relationships without getting married were the most emotionally healthy men.

The study claimed that following the breakup of a relationship, men tended to suffer a brief period of depression which waned as they became involved in a succeeding relationship. For women, however, there were longer term effects and the women with the most breakups also had the poorest emotional health.

If true, then the UK is an ideal place to become an emotionally healthy man as the marriage rate there is at its lowest level in more than a century.


Men happiest as ‘serial monogamists’, says study. Maxine Frith, The New Zealand Herald, February 23, 2004.